Helmut Marko defends Masi after the Abu Dhabi GP | F1only.fr


Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko believes FIA Race Director Michael Masi should be credited for the decisions he made at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

In the final five racing laps of the final Grand Prix of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi, race director Michael Masi made the decision to send a safety car to the track when Nicholas Latifi’s Williams hit the road. rail.

During this period under the safety car, Masi gave the order to the latecomers not to duplicate themselves and to keep their position on the track, before changing their mind and allowing five single-seaters positioned between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen ( the two leaders) to duplicate. The race was then restarted for a single lap, which allowed Max Verstappen to overtake Lewis Hamilton after going through the pits to put on Soft tires on his Red Bull.

Asked about the subject during Sport Und Talk, Helmut Marko defended the position of race director Michael Masi, the Austrian believing that Masi had made the right decisions: “Our team acted sensational by immediately switching to Soft tires and then, yes, Hamilton didn’t stand a chance. But we must also credit Michael Masi who wanted to finish the race in racing conditions. «  Helmut Marko explained.

“In Indycar or NASCAR for example, there is a rule that they add an extra lap so that the race can end under normal racing conditions. There were five cars in between [leaders] and he just asked them to split up so that they could complete this last lap. It’s like an arbiter, he has the right and he is the one who makes the decisions, so it is valid. « 

Much ink was spilled over this highly controversial Grand Prix ending and the FIA ​​subsequently decided to launch an investigation to ensure that lessons were learned over the winter before the start of the 2022 season:  » The 2021 Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix drew a lot of reaction from the F1 community and motorsport in general, as well as the public. The primary responsibility of the FIA ​​at any event is to ensure the safety of all involved and the integrity of the sport.  » could we read in a press release published by the FIA ​​a few days after the last race of the year.

 » The circumstances surrounding the use of the safety car following the incident with driver Nicholas Latifi, and the related communications between the FIA ​​race management and the Formula 1 teams, in particular generated significant misunderstandings and reactions from the share of Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans, an argument that currently tarnishes the image of the championship and the celebration of the first Drivers ‘World Championship title won by Max Verstappen and the eighth consecutive Constructors’ Championship title won by Mercedes. « 

 » Following the presentation of a report on the course of events following the incident on lap 53 of the Grand Prix and in a constant concern for improvement, the President of the FIA [Jean Todt, qui a quitté ses fonctions depuis, ndlr] proposed to the World Motor Sport Council that a detailed analysis and clarification exercise for the future with all parties concerned will now take place. « 

 » This issue will be discussed and addressed with all teams and drivers to learn from this situation and provide clarity to participants, media and fans on the regulations in force to preserve the competitive nature of our sport while ensuring safety. pilots and officials. It is not only Formula 1 that can benefit from this analysis, but also more generally all the other championships on the FIA ​​circuit. « 

 » Following this presentation and an in-depth discussion, the World Council decided to unanimously support the President’s proposal. The FIA ​​will therefore do everything possible to ensure that this is put into action within the governance of Formula 1 and will propose to the Formula 1 Commission to give a clear mandate for study and proposal to the Sporting Advisory Committee, with the support of the Formula 1 drivers, so that all identified significant comments and conclusions are made before the start of the 2022 season. « 

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